Yesterday was full of fun events. In the late afternoon I went to the Ole Store as part of my Northfield Area Foundation duties. I have served on the Northfield Area Foundation (NAF) board of governors for about 5 years. This is a great organization that works to raise funds for the foundation.  Then each year NAF disperses funds to various groups through a grant process. Yesterday we met with the recipients of the grants and distributed checks to them. We funded about $43,500 of grants in this cycle, ranging from the Community Action Center, to the Northfield Garden Club, to the Y, and the public schools. It was a great time to be together and visit about the many organizations in Northfield. I’m so pleased that NAF was able to assist over 20 groups with their activities.

Later in the evening Ellen and I went to downtown Northfield for the annual Winter Walk. It was a perfect night for being downtown. The streets were blocked off and draft horse teams were giving rides in wagons. A special treat this year was a sleigh being pulled by honest to goodness reindeer. There was a giant snowman roaming around saying hello to children

The public library had a wonderful display of trains. There were several O gauge layouts that were so popular when I was young. There were some HO layouts, and even one that was running on the small N gauge track. But the train I liked the best was the large steam engine tractor. I’m not sure what the scale is, but it was made by a local man in 1961. It burns coal to create steam and is quite powerful. In the library the operator was using compressed air to make everything turn…and to blow the whistle from time to time. It took tremendous skill for the maker to use metal lathes and cutting gear to create this steam engine. It is often at the Rice County Steam and Tractor show on Labor Day weekend.